Playing With Lava

I was watching my cat play the floor is lava game and it brought back some nostalgia over my own lava room games.

I can’t say that my experiences with the lava game were exceptionally different from anyone else’s, but I think the only time that I played the game with a seriousness bordering on panic was during the early hours of the morning when nature called. Bedrooms are different in the middle of the night, and as we all know, carry their own special dangers. While I can’t say I particularly remember believing in monsters under the bed, at 2 a.m. with a full bladder, I know I never wanted to take the chance. Making it from my bed to the hallway became a choreographed dance that required a certain measure of skill and if I do say so myself, flair.

The first order of business was to get some light shining on the situation. While it wouldn’t keep the monster from reaching out his grubby little hands, or even prevent a scalding dip into the lava pool, it’d at least let me see where I was jumping. Fortunately, my dresser reached from my bed to my closet (which had one of the fancy open the door turn on the light doo-dads) and could be easily scaled without tipping or wobbling.

Light secured, I could now see the lay of the land. Fortunately, I was very rarely without some clothes lying around that could serve as safe anchors as I navigated the rest of the room. The trick with the next step was making sure I aimed for a clothes pile sufficiently far enough away from the bed to evade any grasping from the bed monster. With a mighty leap, I would be precariously ensconced in the middle of the room, surrounded by fiery doom, but that much nearer my objective.

However, I didn’t have the athletic ability to make the leap to the hallway door. I could probably make it close but close doesn’t cut it when you’re dealing with fire. So I often resorted to the chair tucked into the corner of my room which always held a handy throw, knitted by some great-great aunt which I used as a bridge. (If my mother knew, I’m sure she’d be willing to beat me to this day).

As you may or may not know, jumping onto a rocking chair is serious business and successfully launching yourself from a chair that is already rocking back to your clothes pile takes careful timing and cat-like reflexes. But having the blanket in hand, back on the clothes pile, it is a seeming nothing to toss that sucker between you and the door and make a couple of quick hops to freedom.

Mission Accomplished.

What I remember best from my self-imposed limitations was that little burst of adrenal fear that maybe I would not be able to successfully meet my goal, and the little high I achieved as I made that last skip into the hallway. Let me tell you, it was a pretty good feeling.

So much so, that I think it’s not any surprise that I enjoy gaming so much. I mean, how much closer to the lava-game can you get than this:

Forget the floors! The entire room is lava! But with a game plan, your handy tool-box, and a little skill, it can be conquered.


6 thoughts on “Playing With Lava

  1. You know, I admit.. I really can relate to this…

    Heck, I still run up and down the stairs as fast as I can, like I always have, as though something’s chasing me. Yep, slightly strange 🙂

    Ever played the game, or heard the story, about not stepping on the cracks in the pavement, in case you get sucked down? At least, that’s one I remember when I was a child haha!

  2. My father told me when I was very small that there was such a beast as a carpet crocodile which at night would surface and lie in wait for small feet. It had the desired effect of making me stay tucked up in bed most of the time. Even now, I’m careful when I get out of bed in the dark.

    As a direct result of the whole “carpet” crocodile episode, I became very good at playing Shipwreck in gym class.

    (If you’ve never had the pleasure, Shipwreck involves navigating your way around a series of obstacles without letting your feet touch the ground).

    No wonder I was good at dodging Sarth’s walls 😀

  3. This is great advice for life in general. The world itself is lava and there are so many self-imposed limitations that we put on ourselves on a daily basis. Overcoming obstacles really is as easy coming up with a game plan; a map, if you will. The fear you mentioned is the toughest part. But fear is just False Expectations Appearing Real! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. The memories this brings back that I hadn’t thought of for years! And my room had gorillas hanging from the ceiling so you had to be really careful you didn’t jump too high.

    I’m glad to know I was the only one living in such a dangerous environment.

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